This Old Fashioned Hearty Beef Stew is a traditional style stew made on the stovetop with tender beef, carrots, potatoes, herbs, and spices.
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Best Stew Recipe
Sometimes with comfort food, you just want the classic style. That's no exception when it comes to beef stew. While there are many variations out there, this version gives you the classic, old-fashioned beef stew many of us grew up on.
Whether you're making this for your family at home or a crowd, everyone will love it and ask for the recipe.
It only requires some basic ingredients. It's packed full of flavor and easily customized. Serve it with some delicious dinner rolls and you'll have everyone going back for seconds.
Old Fashioned Beef Stew Ingredients
- chuck roast
- all purpose flour
- ground black pepper
- tomato paste
- red wine
- beef stock
- bay leaves
- herbs de provence
- salt & pepper
What beef makes the best beef stew?
Chuck Roast - I always recommend chuck roast as a first choice when making beef stew. It has great marbling and gives a really tender, flavorful beef stew every time.
Ribeye - Ribeye has excellent marling but can be pricey. If you can afford this cut of beef, it makes a wonderful stew.
Pre Cut Stew Meat - Stew Meat found in the meat section of your local grocery store isn't the best option for beef stew. Often times it's low quality, lean, tougher cuts of meat. You won't get the same result as you would with chuck roast or ribeye.
What potato is best for beef stew?
Yukon Gold potatoes are the best choice for beef stew. Not only is their flavor the best, but they also hold up well to the cooking time and don't become too sticky and starchy.
Russet Potatoes are a great second choice for beef stew. They are hearty and hold up well to the cooking time. Be sure to peel the skin because it may alter your overall stew flavor.
Red Potatoes will give you a similar taste and texture to Yukon Gold, just slightly less sweet.
I have not tried sweet potatoes in this recipe. I would not recommend them at this time as they may break down too much with the cooking time.
What vegetables go in beef stew?
You can truly add whatever vegetables you and your family like!
The classic version of beef stew uses only onions, carrots, and potatoes, but feel free to add your favorites. Some common additions include:
- green beans
How to make a Traditional Beef Stew Recipe
Detailed instructions and measurements to make Classic Beef Stew are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
- Start by mixing the all-purpose flour and pepper in a shallow dish.
- Take the beef pieces and coat them on all sides with the flour mixture. Shake off any of the excess flour and set them aside.
- Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is heated and shimmery, add the flour coated beef and brown it on all sides. You don't want to cook it through, you just want to sear and brown the outside. Don't overcrowd the pot and do them in batches if necessary.
- Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the dutch oven. Add in the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to caramelize. It will take about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic to the dutch oven and let it saute with the onion and carrots just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste to the dutch oven and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally until it turns into a rust color, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in the wine and deglaze the pot by using a flat wooden spoon. Make sure to get all of the brown bits up from the bottom of the pot. Let the wine reduce down to about half.
- Add the beef, potatoes, beef stock, herbs de provence, worcestershire, dried thyme, and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer over low for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the beef is tender and cooked through.
- Remove the bay leaves, test for salt, and serve with your favorite dinner rolls.
How to Thicken Old Fashioned Beef Stew
If your beef stew is too thin or runny, you can thicken it by using a slurry. You can use a corn starch slurry or all-purpose flour.
To make a slurry, add a small amount (think teaspoon) of corn starch or all-purpose flour to a bowl.
Add just enough cold water to combine. It's important to use cold water so that it dissolves without clumping. Mix it until it dissolves and pour it into the beef stew. Allow the beef stew to simmer and it will begin to thicken.
Remember to go easy at first. Too much slurry will make it too thick.
How to keep potatoes from getting mushy in beef stew
Be sure to use the right type of potato (I recommend Yukon Gold or Russet) and leave them cut in large chunks. By having them cut in large pieces, they will take longer to cook and be ready at the same time as the beef.
Old Fashioned Beef Stew Recipe FAQs
By flouring meat before browning, it allows the flour to cook in the stew to take the raw flour taste out. It is also what helps the stew broth to thicken.
Beef stew meat is a difficult cut of meat to work with. If this is the cut you choose to go with, I'd recommend cooking it low and slow to get the best results.
The key to making beef stew flavorful is to make sure it's properly seasoned. Be sure to add herbs, spices, and use a flavorful stock.
Yes, you can make Old Fashioned Beef Stew ahead of time. You can freeze it for up to 6 months when stored properly.
Best Beef Stew Recipe Storage
Allow the stew to cool completely and place it in an airtight container. It will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze beef stew?
Beef stew freezes exceptionally well! Allow the beef stew to cool completely and add it to an airtight container.
You can also use a zip-top style bag if you prefer. If using a zip-top bag, lay it flat in the freezer until it freezes completely. It will last up to 6 months in the freezer when stored properly.
how to reheat beef stew
To reheat the beef stew, I recommend using the stove top. By adding it to a saucepan and heating it over low heat, you'll prevent overcooking the beef. It will stay tender and delicious.
Best Beef Stew Sides
What goes with beef stew? If you want to add just a little to your stew, here's what we like to serve ours with:
- Dinner rolls
- Over mashed potatoes (yes, two kinds of potatoes!)
- Side Salad
other comfort food recipes you might like
Traditional Beef Stew Recipe
- 2 pounds chuck roast cut into 1" cubes
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil divided
- 1 small onion diced into large pieces
- 4 large carrots cut into 1½" pieces
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¾ cup red wine
- 3 cups beef stock
- 4 whole yukon gold potatoes cut into large pieces
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon herbs de provence
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- dash pepper to taste
- dash salt to taste (this will depend heavily on the beef stock you use)
- Mix together the all-purpose flour and pepper in a shallow dish.
- Take the beef pieces and coat them on all sides with the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour.
- Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is heated and shimmery, add the flour coated beef, browning on all sides. You aren’t trying to cook it through, just sear and brown the outside. Don’t overcrowd the pot and do them in batches if necessary.
- Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the dutch oven.
- Add the onion, carrots, and garlic to the pot and saute until they begin to carmelize, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the tomato paste, stir, and cook until it turns a rust color.
- Pour in the wine and deglaze the pot with a flat wooden spoon. Make sure to get all of the brown bits up from the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the potatoes, beef stock, herbs de provence, worcestershire, dried thyme, salt and pepper.
- Bring the stew to a boil. Cover and simmer over low for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until beef is tender and cooked through.
- Remove bay leaves and serve with dinner rolls or cornbread.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It should only be used for estimation purposes and is not a guarantee of any kind. Nutritional information varies widely between brands and types of ingredients used. It is recommended that you calculate the nutritional information based on your own ingredients and brands used. Sweetly Splendid, LLC makes no guarantees as to the exact nutrition information.